Breach in govt's 'Gun Buy Back Scheme'

By Tema Hemi
A MSSA (Military style semi automatic) rifle. Photo/Guns, Ammo, Knives (Facebook)

Gun lobbyists are calling for government agencies and the police to do a better job of protecting personal details. A breach in the gun buy back scheme database allowed names and addresses to be viewed. Nicole McKee of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners says her organisation has been told other people had been able to view the data, not just those mentioned in reports by police minister Stuart Nash. 

Guns are the issue at hand, and the Government is well and truly in the firing line. 

Nicole McKee says, "So we've been told by the NZ Police and the Minister that the information was available in the police platform for five days, and that’s really concerning us because the information that was available, is all of the details of the people, who have registered prohibited firearms."

McKee says the council's lawyers had received notification from 19 others that they had been able to access that information and that they were able to download all the information that was on that site. 

"So we're at a stage now where we're saying ok we've had that notification, we're trying to verify. We're struggling to verifying it nevertheless, that doesn't take away from the fact that information is being available for five days."

Police Minister Stuart Nash is standing by reports from German software company SAP that only one person had access to the leaked data. SAP also issued a public apology yesterday for the breach. 

Nash says, "All I can say is we are pretty disappointed with what’s happened and of course SAP have put up their hand and said this is completely their fault and that they accept full responsibility. SAP say that they've looked at the evidence log and the audit trial and they can say that only one person has accessed this data.  

Nationals Police spokesman Brett Hudson says both the minister of police and the prime minister must take full responsibility for this breach and pull all together the Governments Buy Back scheme. 

Hudson says, "Legislation done in a few days, not enough time to adequately prepare and design these systems that’s how these flaws come about. Everything is being too rushed. The thing they should do right now is immediately announce they're gonna pull the firearms registry out of the legislation before parliament because the public can’t have any confidence that that information will be able to be kept secure."

"It didn’t need to happen. If the government had taken advice to slow this all down, and work through it properly, we wouldn’t be at this situation," McKee says.  

McKee says her organisation are still trying to verify those 19 people to know better if they were gun owners or just the general public. Their investigation is on-going at this point.